Akhilesh removes UP Chief Secretary Usmani, appoints Alok Ranjan

Jawed Usmani

Lucknow : In a major bureaucratic shake-up, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Saturday removed Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani and appointed Alok Ranjan to the post.

Usmani, considered close to the chief minister’s father and Samajawadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, had sought permission to go on central deputation, said informed sources.

Made the chief secretary in 2012 soon after the Samajwadi Party (SP) formed the government in the state after a huge victory in the assembly polls, the suave Usmani however failed to inspire the bureaucracy and despite a two year stint, officials refused to deliver, leading to his falling from grace of the SP leadership in the state.

He has been replaced by Alok Ranjan, a 1978 batch officer, known for being a media friendly official who has served as secretary to three chief ministers in the past.

Currently the agriculture production commissioner (APC), Alok Ranjan, soon after taking over as the state’s top bureaucrat, told IANS that his first priority would be to motivate officials.

“We have some very good officials and they would now be directed to work for the welfare of the state,” he added.

On being asked what were his priorities, Alok Ranjan told IANS that for now he would need some time to settle down and discuss many issues with the officials.

Poor law and order and the power crisis however seem to be on the top of his agenda.

Soon after a serious drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls where the SP’s tally of MPs fell from 22 to 5, Akhilesh Yadav had hinted at a major reshuffle in the bureaucracy. He also transferred Prabhat Mittal, director of information and public relations, late Friday signalling his ire at the department’s failure to brighten the image of the government and spread information about its welfare and developmental schemes.—–IANS


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